EFL Futures has provided a £750,000 cash boost to EFL Clubs who have introduced young English players into their starting line-ups during the 2016/17 season.
The incentive scheme has committed a total of £2.25 million over the course of three seasons for those clubs who provide starting opportunities in EFL fixtures for players under the age of 21 and who are eligible to play for England (or Wales for Cardiff and Newport).
With all appearance data now collated and assessed, the EFL has distributed the funds with almost all of the 72 EFL Clubs benefitting financially from the scheme’s first pay-out. Significantly, it is clubs in League One and League Two who will profit most:-
- Sky Bet League Two Clubs have earned £304,000;
- Sky Bet League One Clubs have earned £294,000;
- Sky Bet Championship Clubs have earned £152,000.
The EFL Futures campaign is central to the EFL’s ambition to create opportunities for young playing talent and represents a collective commitment made by clubs to improve opportunities for home grown players.
This season, almost 10% of appearances across the EFL were made by EFL Futures eligible youngsters, with those appearances being made by 322 players from a pool of approximately 2,500 currently registered across the three divisions.
Significantly, 80% of all under 21 appearances within the EFL were made by players who qualify for EFL Futures.
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive, has welcomed the financial contribution EFL Futures has made.
He said: “When we launched EFL Futures we discussed the need for a collective commitment to support the progression of young players into starting line-ups.
“EFL Clubs already play a big part in player development through the Academy system, but EFL Futures provides an additional incentive to give more playing opportunities to our young local footballers.
"We will continue to look at further ways to shape the ambition of providing a pathway from Academies into the first team.
“I’m sure that the payments announced today will have a positive and lasting impact and that EFL Futures will deliver the required change in what is a hugely significant area for the long-term growth of the English game.”
A total of £600,000 has been shared across 46 League One and League Two Clubs and the income is already having an impact.